David Moyes has hailed Leon Osman’s ‘footballing intelligence’ as the homegrown star prepares to make a milestone appearance.
Should he face Fulham at Goodison Park on Saturday, Osman will play in his 300th game for the Club since graduating from the Academy as a fresh-faced youngster.
In that time he has played in numerous roles, scored many memorable goals and cemented his place as one of the Blues’ most recognisable faces of the Premier League era.
But for Moyes, his greatest asset is his on-field tactical nous.
The Everton boss said: “For a small lad he is a big personality in the dressing room but what I like more is his football intelligence.
“He is someone we can give jobs to and he knows what to do.
“We can ask him to look after two players or play in certain positions and he understands and takes things on board. From that point of view he is a great player to have in your squad.”
Only Tony Hibbert has played more times for Moyes at Everton and the manager says he is sincerely grateful for Osman’s efforts during his tenure.
“He has been a great servant since I came here,” he continued. “He went out on loan to Carlisle and then to Derby and came back but since then has always been in and around the team.
“He has been great, he can play in different positions, has got me important goals at different times and is someone we can rely on and trust.
“It is a special achievement to play 300 games in the Premier League – especially for the same team – and it says a lot about the player. We really appreciate him.”
Moyes added: “Let’s not forget he is only 30 and I would like to think there are few more games to come. He had a bad injury as a youngster but has gotten over all of that and has had a really good career so far.”